Shell of the Week: The Little Horn Caecum
Meioceras nitidum (Simpson, 1851) reaches only about 2.5 mm (0.1 inch). Caecum snails are mostly uncoiled, resembling little cylinder or tubes; they lose the coiled, early shell whorls at the end of the juvenile stage. The Little Horn Caecum has a tubular shell with bulbous mid-section, and very faint white and grayish markings set on a translucent background. Their shells can be found by sifting and sorting through the sands of Sanibel and Captiva and other parts of the western Atlantic. The images are a regular photo (top) to illustrate the color pattern and a scanning electron micrograph (bottom) to show surface detail (or lack thereof, in this case.) Read more about mollusks and their shells in our Shell Guide.